Note. This is an e-book in progress. A cross-check of this dictionary is underway, but will still take quite some time.
The primordial Atziluthic Man (The Kabod), called forth in the configuration of the ten Sephiroth, an Adam before the Adam of Genesis. He is the first of four reflections of Ein-Sof, the infinite Godhead, to become manifest. A macroanthropos, a colossal human being who is conceived as a model for the human world. For Plutarch, the sun is at the heart of this being and the moon, the sun’s androgynous messenger, is located in between the heart and belly. Conceived in human shape, Adam Kadmon is a metatron that contains everything that is needed to complete the task of Divine reflection. He is both the mirror and the viewer and has within his being will, intellect, emotion, and capacity for action. Traditionally, he is the fifth and highest World, providing the potential for the lower four. More: http://www.newkabbalah.com/adam.html.
Adonai, “my Lord,” is a Hebrew title of God. It is commonly used to replace the Tetragrammaton (JHWH) when reading Hebrew scriptures, and its vowels when inserted into JHWH form the term Jehovah. See: http://www.themystica.org/mystica/articles/a/adonai.html.
Great mother; one of the Parzufim. Aima is the maternal principle associated with Binah, the third Sephirah in the Tree of Life, and paired with Abba, “father,” an aspect of the second Sephirah Chokmah. Some Kabbalistic writings distinguish Aima, the bright fertile mother, and Ama, the dark sterile mother. Such distinction is incorporated in the gematria since the values of the letters in Aima add to fifty-two equaling the value of Ben, “son,” while those of Ama add to forty-two, a number associated with severity. See: http://www.themystica.org/mystica/articles/a/aima.html.
“No thing” in Hebrew. Some say that this is the state of “existence” that is God. There is nowhere Ain is. God is absolute nothing, Negative Existence, no thing that can be understood. Ain is the third and the highest of the Three Veils of the Unmanifest, which are located above Kether on the Tree of Life and represent the inability of created beings to experience the divine in actuality. Ain is the first Veil of Negative Existence. The other two Veils are Ain Soph and Ain Soph Aur.
Ain Sof (ah-een sof)
See also Ein Sof. AIN SVP is “without end” or “infinity” in Hebrew. This is the title of God who is everywhere, immanent in all things. Ain Sof is the number 1 that appears over the number 0 when creation is about to manifest. Traditional Kabbalists us this word to refer to God. Ain Sof has no attributes, because attributes can manifest only within existence, and existence is finite. Ain Sof is the second Veil of Negative Existence. The other two Veils are Ain and Ain Soph Aur.
Ain Sof Aur (ah-een sof or)
AIN SVP AVR is “limitless Light” or “infinite light” in Hebrew. This is the third Veil of Negative Existence, from which all is manifest. The other two Veils are Ain and Ain Soph.
AIQ-BEKER, also know as the Kabalah of Nine Chambers and theosophical reduction, is the process of reducing numbers and letters to their component parts to determine their essence. Gematria is the traditional Hebrew name for it.
The method of AIQ-BEKER is often used to reduce large numbers to a single number from 1 to 9. To use this method, add up the individual numbers in each digit position of the large number. If this sum has more than one digit, add these numbers together. Keep adding in this way until only one digit remains. For example, the number 1234 reduces to 10 (1+2+3+4=10) which gets reduced to 1 (1+0=1). See http://www.wisdomsdoor.com/wb/hwb-aiqbeker.shtml.
A spiritual reality with its own unique content, qualities, and character living in the World of Yetzirah. The substantial quality of an angel is an impulse or drive-such as the inclination in the direction of Love or a seizure of fear. To express a larger totality of being, something more comprehensive, we may refer to a “camp” of angels.
An angel is not merely an instrument of manifestation. It is a whole and integral being, conscious of itself and its surroundings and able to act in the World of Formation. An angel affects the transfer of the vital plenty between Worlds, serving as an emissary of God downward or carrying the cries of men upward to higher worlds. An angel is unchanging, whether temporary or immortal, staying always in rigid limits of quality given at its creation.
Some angels have always been. They are unaltering parts of the Eternal Being and the fixed order of the Universe. They are the channels of the divine plenty which rises and descends in the Worlds.
Some angels are continuously created anew. A prayer extends beyond itself in the material world, creating an angel or an extension of Holy emotion in Briah, and so forth on upward.
A notarikon for Achad Resh Achudohtoh Resh Yechidotoh Temurahtoh Resh, “One is His beginning, one principle is His individuality, His permutation is one.” A word of power used with rituals involving the Hexagram in the Golden Dawn. It is useful for unifying the macrocosm with the microcosm. Combined with the analysis of the Key Word, involving the words IAO and LVX, it help unite the Ruach to the Nephesch. A great preparation for Divination.
Arich Anpin or Arikh Anpin (Aramaic: אריך אנפין meaning “Long Face/Extended Countenance” – also implying “The Infinitely Patient One”, called Macroprosopus in the Kabbala Denudata) is an aspect of Divine emanation in Kabbalah, identified with the sephirah attribute of Keter, the Divine Will. Thus it is the most promorial of the parzufim, at the highest level on the Tree.
The Zohar’s imagery expounds its role in Creation, where it is the macroscopic equivalent of Zeir Anpin (Microprosopus) in the sephirotic tree of life. In 16th-century Lurianic doctrine, it becomes systemised as one of the six Primary Partzufim Divine Personae, as part of the cosmic process of Tikkun Rectification. The Lurianic scheme recasts the linear Medieval-Kabbalistic hierarchy of lifeforce in Creation into dynamic processes of interinclusion, analogous to the enclothement of a soul into a lower body. In this way, the Partzuf Arich Anpin is said to descend immanently through all levels of Creation as their concealed substratum Divine intention, though in progressively more concealed mode.
Its inner dimension is identified as the related, but transcendent Partzuf Atik Yomin (“Ancient of Days”), synonymous with inner Divine Delight, the “Will of Wills/Primary Will”, the most pristine cause for Creation. See: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arich_Anpin
The World of Action; the physical world; the Vale of Tears. Genesis speaks of it in the reference to the River which flowed out of Eden and which had four heads: a repetition of the four levels inherent in the Tree of Life. Assiah is manifest in the universe that we experience through our senses, with its apparent solids, liquids, gases, and radiant aspects.
The World of “Proximity;” the World of Emanation-one of the Four Worlds of the Tree of Life. All the dynamics and laws inherent in Atziluth are complete, except that nothing has happened. Time and space do not exist here because Atziluth is at the stage of pure Will.
Bal Shem Tov
“Master of the Good Name” in Hebrew. A rabbi who lived in the 18th century who was
the founder of the Hasidic movement in Kabbalah. He brought to Juddahism the process
of deep emotional attachment to God via his ability to tell stories.
Hebrew: “in it is strength”.Boaz is an important element of Kabbalistic symbolism. Boaz is one of the two pillars at the door of the Temple of Solomon. The pillar Boaz stood at the left of the entrance. In symbolism, it is often shown as black, and coreesponds to the re eptive or passive, the material, and the feminine, as the pillar Jachin corresponds to the active, the spiritual, and the masculine. Kabbalists associate Boaz with the left-hand pillar of the Tree of Life, the Pillar of Severity. In masonic lodges, the pillar Boaz is topped with a globe of the earth, representing its association with the material world.
“He is there” in Hebrew; Void; Emptiness. In Kabbalistic metaphysics, this state preceded the existence of our universe and was associated with tohu. (See tohu).
The World of “Creation”–one of the Four Worlds of the Tree of Life. Ideas are born in this World, only to be elaborated by the next lower world.
Christian version of the Kabbalah. Kabbalah for the Hebrew version. Qabalah for the theosophical version.
A large group of angels or archangels expressing a greater totality of being than they each individually represent as part of the whole.
Cherub, pl. Cherubim
The channeling, controlling, and containing powers of the Universe. They act through our own perceptual abilities, creating our world through unconscious delineation and discrimination. They appear to the ordinary man as powerful externally imposed limitations, the intimidating aspects of the material world.
Angels of the Sephirah, Yesod, the “Strong Ones” that support the Foundation of the Universe.
The two angels that guard the entrance to the Garden of Eden, keeping man in a state of hedged protection and ignorance until he is ready to claim the Cherubim as his own faculties.
Two angel-like figures that were situated above the holy ark in the Temple of Jerusalem. These are the two Archangels, Metatron and Sandalphon, of Kether and Malkuth respectively. Divine Prophecy was said to be transmitted between them.
An immortal part of the soul said to be the true Will, the creative inner impulse which causes one to reach outside of ones self to become better than one is. It is self actualized and active.
See also AIN-SOF. Ein-Sof, the Infinite God, has no static, definable form. Instead, the Kabbalists conceive God, the world and humanity as evolving together through, and thus embodying, a number of distinct stages and aspects, with later stages opposing, but at the same time encompassing, earlier ones. The Kabbalist¹s God is both perfectly simple and infinitely complex, nothing and everything, hidden and revealed, reality and illusion, creator of man and created by man,. As Ein-Sof evolves it is progressively revealed as “nothing whatsoever” (Ayin), the totality of being, the Infinite Will (Ratzon) , Thought and Wisdom, the embodiment of all value and significance (the Sefirot), the wedding of male and female, and ultimately the union of all contradictions. Ein-Sof is both the totality of this dialectic and each of the points along the way. Ein-Sof must be constantly redefined, as by its very nature, it is in a constant process of self-creation and redefinition. This self-creation is actually embodied and perfected in the creativity of humanity, who through practical, ethical, intellectual and spiritual activities, strives to redeem and perfect a chaotic, contradictory and imperfect world. http://www.newkabbalah.com/einsof.html
One of the names of God from the Bible, corresponding to Binah and Geburah. Also an abbreviation for the five Partzufim. Represents a pluralized form of God, a very primordial power.
“Those who dwell above.” The inhabitants of the three higher worlds in the Tree of Life. These beings are visualized in the Kabbalistic scheme as angels and archangels, or the “fish” and the “fowl” (Genesis 1:26) who swim in the Waters of Yetzirah and fly in the Air of Briah.
Straight lines drawn on the Tree of Life from Sephirah 1 to 2, 2 to 3, 3 to 4 and so on through 10 to creat a sort of lightning bolt image. It is the path by which divinity moved nothingness to create the universe. It is a model of the vibrations that are the composition of everything in manifestation. It is also said to be the same flaming sword held be the Kerubim to keep mankind out of the Garden of Eden.
A great scholar or genius.
Concerns the Literal Kabbalah. Each Hebrew letter is also simultaneously a number. A process of finding Hebrew words with relative numerical totals and considering them subsequently to have a meaningful relationship.
The Sephiroth of the Tree of Life are organized into three discrete columns or gimel kavim (“three lines” in Hebrew). They are often referred to as the three “Fathers,” are derived from the three “Mothers,” and are attributed to the vowels (Vav, Yud, and Heh.) They are: central column, the “Pillar of Mildness”, associated with Hebrew letter Aleph, “the breath”, and the air element; right column, in Hebrew kav yamin; and left column, in Hebrew kav smol. See: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sephirah
Gilgul, pl. gilgulim
The cycles or transformations of each soul’s journey to complete enlightenment. This concept assumes the existence of reincarnation and many life times on Earth for each person.
A legendary being of clay, created through Kabbalistic magic. References to Golems can be found as early as in the Talmud.
A being that is possessed or occupied by the soul of a saintly individual in order for that saintly person to carry out some cosmic mission.
Kabbalah, also spelled Cabala or Qabbālâ et al. (Hebrew: קַבָּלָה literally “receiving/tradition”), is an esoteric method, discipline and school of thought. A traditional Kabbalist in Judaism is called a Mekubal (Hebrew: מְקוּבָל).
Kabbalah is a set of esoteric teachings meant to explain the relationship between an unchanging, eternal and mysterious Ein Sof (no limit) and the mortal and finite universe (his creation). While it is heavily used by some denominations, it is not a religious denomination in itself. Inside Judaism, it forms the foundations of mystical religious interpretation. Kabbalah seeks to define the nature of the universe and the human being, the nature and purpose of existence, and various other ontological questions. It also presents methods to aid understanding of these concepts and to thereby attain spiritual realisation. See: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kabbalah
A symbolic image of Atzilith represented by a great and radiant human figure. This Divine Man appears in the vision of the prophet Ezekiel who saw the Four Worlds as the likeness of man (Atziluth) seated on a heavenly throne (Briah) which was set on a chariot (Yetzirah) which in turn moved above the earth (Assiah). He is considered to be the equivalent of Adam Kadmon.
The beam of Divine Will that emanates from unmanifestation and fills the ten vessels of the Tree of Life.
The community of Israel which is one with the Shehinah.
Keter or Kether (Hebrew: כֶּתֶר) meaning “crown”, is the topmost of the Sephirot of the Tree of Life in Kabbalah. It is interpreted as both the “topmost” of the Sephirot and the “regal crown” of the Sephirot. It is usually given three paths, to Chokmah, Tiphereth, and Binah.
Keter is invisible and colorless. Keter is so sublime, it is called in the Zohar “the most hidden of all hidden things”, and is completely incomprehensible to man. It is also described as absolute compassion. See: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Keter
Kings of Edom
According to the Torah, kings who reigned before “there where kings in Israel.” This is a reference to the universes that existed before the current Universe. They were attempts that “failed” due to imbalances of Mercy and Severity. The broken “shells” of these are averse influences that still exist in Assiah (see qlippoth).
Study concerning the curious relationship between the numbers and letters of the Hebrew alphebet.
One of the most influential Rabbis in Kabbalah–during the 17th century. Some of the most profound theories in Kabbalah come from its Lurianic branch. His prayers are part of standard Jewish prayers today. He is famsous for this theories about the five Parzufim, Zim Zum, the transmigration of souls, the Qlippoth, and so on.
The “Work of Creation” in Hebrew. The use of Kabblistic cosmology, Hebrew letters, and hermetic proceedures to immitate the act of creation as it appears encoded in “Genesis.” Actual physical forms can be produced from nothingness, according to Medieval literature.
A “spatial” framework within which various forms and beings connect in the higher worlds, a “place” in the abstract.
Teacher, inner guide, Holy Guardian Angel, Higher Self, etc. Massianic Awareness. The coming of the “Massiah” in esoteric Juddahism concerns the arrival of a new kind of awareness to mankind–when the dominant mindset is that of Tiphareth, operating from the level of the collective unconsscious through individuals interacting in effortless harmony.
“Water” in Hebrew, or more esoterically, the fundamental substance that preceded matter
in the creation of the Universe.
“Throne” in Hebrew. A vehicle of consciousness can be constructed through regular spiritual practice. The movements of ritual and the activities surrounding it are perceived as surface aspects of a structure that exists deeper in the strata of manifestation. Via sensation and physical processes, the magician can actually “climb into” this chariot and ride, as it were, to other realms of being. The ancient Merkavah mystics used it to visit higher Hekhalot, “halls,” in higher realms of existence that surround the throne of God. The chariot of Hermetic ritual can carry the mind of the apirant to realms much deeper than he would normally be able to perceive given his level of development. For the Merkavah Mystics, this was accomplished by way of talismans, passwords, and secret signs. For this reason, caution must be used in any type of structured approach that penetrates the higher worlds. Techniques rightly applied can open doors to realms beyond ones current capacity to handle.
The ritual bath.
The oral tradition that is used to understand the written transmission of the Torah.
Translated as “Egypt,” in the Old Testament. It refers to the place from which Moses led the Israelites. In Kabbalah this word refers to a “narrow place,” the confinement of egocentric consciousness.
Mitzvah, pl. mitzvoth
A Divine commandment or “binding point” to God; a good deed. There are 613 mitzvoth specified in the Bible, many of which pertain to rituals involved with the Temple of Jerusalem.
Literally, “the anointed one” or “the one to be appointed,” referring the Massiah. He is prophesied in the Bible to descend from the House of David. Kabbalists intimate that in every generation there is one such individual who can be the Moshiach if the world has sufficiently redeemed itself.
The being–translated as serpent in Genesis–who persuaded Eve to eat from the forbidden Tree of Knowledge (Tree of Union). It can also be translated as “Magician.” The Nachash is regared as the power which imprisons and also the same power which sets free. Its coils are seen as the enfoldment of consciousness in sensory experience. In the Hermetic path, sensory experience, which in most people is a confining force, is deliberately utilized to set free the latent potential of the individual.
The level of the soul that corresponds to animal/vegetable level of consciousness. It is said to exist at the Yesod and Malkuth levels. It is mostly concerned with the automatic processes of the body and ego. The ego gets its dependence on predictability from the Nephesch. The Nephesch is the level at which we feel threatened when life changes come.
The level of the soul that corresponds to the purest and most primordial self where the Higher Self merges with the One Identity or God, for lack of any adequate term. At this level we have access to the collective unconscious. The Neschaman is composed of three portions, the Yechidah, the Chiah, and the Neschama. The Neschama within the Neschama is actually the only aspect of the greater Neschamah that can be discerned (the other portions are observed by their effects on the “lesser” Neschamah). It is the ability to relate things and intuit things from experience.
The seven Divine laws incumbent on all humanity to obey, communicated by God to Noah after the flood.
An aspect of the literal Kabbalah, an acronym of Hebrew words forming a word of power packed with meaning. Example: AGLA=Atoh Gibor Leh Olam, Adonai “Thou art great forever, Lord.”
Feminine balance to Zair Anpin, one of the Parzufim. She is the bride of Microprosopus wherin is felt the presence of the Shekinah–the presence of God in matter. The Shekinah is held captive by the Qlippoth which surround Malkuth and she is either freed or kept in bondage by the physical activities initiated by Zair Anpin.
Parzuf, pl. Parzufim
The Kabbalah teaches that the ten Sephiroth became reconstituted as five parzufim when
the divine “breaking of the vessels” took place. Parzufim means “faces” in Hebrew. The
five are as follows: Arik Anpin, Abba, Aima, Zair Anpin, and Nukva. These correspond
loosely to Father, Mother, Son, and Daughter.
The Path of Zadek
The path of the “honest man;” the path between Yesod and Tiphareth. It crosses the line
of normal liminal consciousness between Netzach and Hod. It is the boundary between
the ego and the true Self. The path of Zadek is open only to those free of self-deception
and psychological laziness.
The study of magic, refering to the making of talismans and so on. Before working with
Practical Kabbalah, one must be purified for a lengthy period of personal transformation.
If one attempts to use it when one is not an adept, it is warned that bad results or no
results will come of it. Much of what is uncovered in this kind of literature is of little
use. The magician inevitably creates his own magical system of Practical Kabbalah
when he legitimately goes through his own training. Other peoples systems are of use
but usually of secondary value.
Qliphah, pl. Qliphoth
“Shells;” the remnants of the previous Worlds that failed due to imbalance. The pieces of
these shattered vessels fell into Assiah, where Malkuth is now immersed in them. Their
“task” at the microcosmic and macrocosmic levels is to intervene in order to test
goodness and prove it sound. The Qliphoth make it possible for us to see each other as
separate and isolated individuals. Many other things are possible because of the
interference of this level of reality.
Sky; barrier; or interface, mentioned in Genesis as being between the waters that were
above and the waters below.
“Breath” or “Wind” in Hebrew.
As a level of the soul it is the personal self awareness or false self, the intellect and ego.
It is composed microcosmically of Sephiroth 4 through 9. In divination this is the mid
level of mind between the immortal Neschamah above and the mortal Nephesch below.
The Neschamah permeates the Ruach but goes largely unnoticed by the ego. The effect
of the Neschamah is only observed by the Ruach by the imagery it creates in mirror of
The Kabbalistic word for psychosexual energy known as Kundalini in Tantric literature.
Ruach ha Kodesh (Ruach Elohim?)
The Holy Spirit that hovers like a veil beneath the Three Supernals. She remains
unmanifest, but has a place in manifestation, marked on the Tree of Life by the non-
Sephirah, Daath, Knowledge, the child of the Supernal Sephiroth. This is where the
Absolute may enter at will to intervene directly in existence.
The loyal servant of God who enables human free will to exist by offering the option of
The “Book of Formation” in Hebrew. One of the earliest written accounts of Kabbalah,
supposedly written by Simeon ben Yochai in about 70 C.E. This book seems to be a
combination of earlier Merkabah Mysticism and newer Kabbalistic thought. In it are
discussed such things as the universe being created by emanations from divinity.
Sephirah and Sephiroth
A Sephirah is one of the ten distinct stages of development of manifestation. It appears as one of the circles on the Tree of Life. Sephirot or Səphîrôṯ (Hebrew: סְפִירוֹת) meaning emanations, are the 10 attributes/emanations in Kabbalah, through which Ein Sof (The Infinite) reveals himself and continuously creates both the physical realm and the chain of higher metaphysical realms (Seder hishtalshelus). The term is alternatively transliterated into English as Sefirot/Sefiroth, singular Sephirah/Sefirah etc.
The tradition of enumerating 10 is stated in the Sefer Yetzirah, “Ten sephirot of nothingness, ten and not nine, ten and not eleven”. As altogether 11 sephirot are listed across the different schemes, two (Keter and Daat) are seen as unconscious and conscious manifestations of the same principle, conserving the ten categories. In Kabbalah the functional structure of the sephirot in channelling Divine creative life force, and revealing the unknowable Divine essence to Creation is described. Underlying the structural purpose of each sephirah is a hidden motivational force which is understood best by comparison with a corresponding psychological state in human spiritual experience. See: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sephirah
The Sephiroth express Divine Attributes, which, from the primal instant of emanation, are eternally held in the set of relationships until God wills them to vanish. They can be envisioned as vessels, garments, powers, or hands of God.
“Demons;” inhabitants of the Qliphoth whose “evil” task is to disrupt the balance of the
Universe at the level of the three lower Worlds and to feed off of what has not been made
whole. It is said that they are found in waste (shedudim), ruined and cold places such as
in the North. They were not created out of the four elements, but only out of Fire and
Air. They have subtle bodies, imperceptible by the human senses, and these subtle bodies
allow them to fly through the fire and air. By means of their flight through the air, they
are able to approach the princes of the Zodiac who dwell in the atmosphere and thus hear
predictions of the near but not distant future.
“The Divine Presence;” the presence of God in Matter; the bride of Melek who was
separated from her husband by the sin in the Garden of Eden. She is exiled in Malkuth.
The Shemhamphorasch is a corruption of the Hebrew term Shem ha-Mephorash (שם המפורש), which was used in tannaitic times to refer to the Tetragrammaton. In early Kabbalah, the term was used to designate sometimes a 72-letter name for God, and sometimes a 42-letter name. Rashi said Shem ha-Mephorash was used for a 42-letter name, but Maimonides thought Shem ha-Mephorash was used only for the four letter Tetragrammaton.
The name itself is derived from Exodus 14:19-21, three verses each composed of 72 letters; by writing these out in boustrophedon form so that the second line is reversed, and grouping the letters in columns of threes, the names of 72 angels or intelligences or 72 Names of God are formed.
Kabbalists and hermeticists have proposed correspondences between the Shemhamphorasch and a wide variety of other things, such as the Psalms, tarot cards, and so on. It is because of the flexibility (and numerical factorability) of the Shemhamphorasch that many ceremonial magicians consider it to be the key of creation of all things and all arts. The names have long been associated with 72 angels, as well as 72 demons (found in the Lemegeton or Lesser Key of Solomon), who according to the lore and legend of grimoires can create or destroy the organization or disorganization of the elements into the creation of material reality. See: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shemhamphorasch
The great cosmic cycles or ages in the unfolding of creation.
“Those who dwell here below,” inhabitants of Assiah.
A system of transposition of letters such as used in cryptography. An example is taking a
given letter and replacing it with the letter that follows it (Avgad style). The primary
importance of Temurah is interpretation of the Torah and the making of talismans.
“Redemption”-the means of completing the cycle of creation; a return and ascent to ones
Divine source of origin. Teshuvah is said to have existed before the creation of the
The four-letter Ineffable name of God: Yod-Heh-Vau-Heh. YHWH or HWHY. Its true pronunciation has
been lost, and the knowledge of it is believed to confer great power.
A restoration or repair. It is generally thought that man kind’s mission on earth has
something to do with the repairing of the Universe (tikkun Ha Olahm). This is best
accomplished by repairing ones soul or doing the great Work of achieving enlightenment
(tikkun Ha Nephesch). This concept relates to the New Age concept of Karma.
Confusion; chaos. Confusion and chaos are ignorant interpretations of what one sees
when one approaches the “void” state of mind (bohu). In one account of creation, God
fashioned the Universe out of our own perceptual abilities, the faculties that delineate,
define, discriminate, and judge. These go on pretty much unconsciously, supported by
the power of the Kerubim that keep us out of the Garden. When we consciously decide to
take control of our own perceptual powers, than gradually the Kerubim loosen their grip
on us and allow us to create our own universes. To our eyes, they become our humble
servants instead of oppressive externally imposed conditions. On the way to this state of
mind, that of the magician, the old habits die hard and we tend to feel like all is chaos,
when in fact it is our perceptual abilities that are undergoing transformation.
A saintly, righteous person. An adept of great attainment.
The word Tzimtzum has at least two meanings. The first is an ontological meaning connoting “contraction”, “withdrawal”, or “condensation.” The second is an epistemological meaning, which connotes “concealment” or “occultation”. Both the ontological and epistemological senses of the term are necessary to a full understanding of the Lurianic theory of creation.
The doctrine of Tzimtzim gives expression to a series of paradoxical ideas, amongst which is the notion that the universe as we know it is the result of a cosmic negation. The world, according to Lurianic Kabbalah, is not so much a something which has been created from nothing, but rather a genre of nothingness resulting from a contraction or concealment of the only true reality, which is God. Like a film image that has been projected on a screen, the world exists in all its details and particualrs only as a result of a partial occultation of what would otherwise be a pure and homogenous light.
It is also part of the notion of Tzimtzum that the very unfathomability and unknowability of God and His ways is the sine qua non of creation itself. Creation, the doctrine of Tzimtzum implies, is, in its very essence, “that which does not know.” God’s contraction, concealment, and ultimate unknowability are thus the greatest blessings he could bestow on the world and mankind.
Although a controversy raged for some time between those Kabbalist’s who interpreted Tzimtzum naturalistically and their opponents, a physical interpretation of the “contraction” involved in Tzimtzum is really impossible. This is because the Kabbalistic tradition is clear that God or “Ein-sof” does not originally exist within space and time. Indeed, it is only through the original Tzimtzum that space, time, matter and light come into being at all. http://www.newkabbalah.com/Tzimtzum.html
Charity, or more importantly, giving without a sense of attachment–beyond even feeling
good about oneself for doing so.
Vale of Tears
The World of Action, Assiah, as one Kabbalist called it. The soul is reluctant to descend
from Yetzirah into Assiah, but God’s answer always is, “It was for this that your were
called, created, formed, and made.”
The Way of the Chariot
The highest secret of esoteric doctrine. The World of Briah is considered to be the
Throne of the Chariot of Ezekiel’s vision, the medium through which the divine plenty
descends to the people and things of Assiah and to the complex systems of the Worlds. It
is the crossroads of existence, the focal point at which the plenty rising from he lower
Worlds and the plenty descending from the higher Worlds meet an enter into some sort
of relation with each other. The Way of the Chariot is therefore something that reveals
itself in a very limited sense to the purest of men as knowledge of “all existence” and
transformation, past, present, and future. In a more mundane sense the chariot can be
experienced as the form or vessel which is constructed via the performance of regular
ritual, study, and life experience. The construct, or magical persona, which is eventually
created, is capable of “carrying” the magician into other realms of consciousness where
unusual things become possible.
Unique essence, the level of the soul at which one is connected to the unmanifest, God.
The most ephemiral level of the soul, corresponding to Kether.
“Shadow of God” in Hebrew. Nature is regarded as God’s shadow. The visible world
and natural phenomena are regarded as byproducts of God’s concealment. Shadows
reveal that there is light. If not for the shadows, we would take the light for granted and
not even notice it.
The World of “Formation”-one of the Four Worlds on the Tree of Life. It is the World of
ever-changing phenomena, as it is worked upon by the dynamics of Creation and Divine
Will above. It can be compared to the design phase in which an idea, which the architect
has willed (Atziluth) and creatively defined (Briah), takes detailed form before its actual
construction. Yetzirah is a realm of differentiation and complication; it was the Biblical
Garden of Eden where the androgynous man created in Briah was separated into Adam
and Eve in clearly differentiated male and female reflections of the outer pillars of the
Tree of Life.
“Hidden Splendors;” the three unmanifest principles that govern the ten Sephiroth:
Primordial Will, Justice, and Mercy. Will holds the balance while Mercy expands and
Justice contracts. On the Tree of Life these principles appear as three pillars of Mildness,
Mercy, and Severity.
Ze’ir Anpin (Aramaic: זְעֵיר אַנפִּין) means “Lesser Countenance/Small Face”, called Microprosopus in the Kabbala Denudata, and is a revealed aspect of God in Kabbalah, comprising the emotional sephirot attributes: Chesed, Gevurah, Tiphereth, Netzach, Hod and Yesod.
The Zohar’s imagery expoundes its role in Creation, where it is the microscopic equivalent of Arich Anpin (Macroprosopus) in the Sephirotic tree of life. The Siphra Dtzenioutha portrays it as the revealed face of God, and the Idra Rabba elaborates on the Kabbalistic significance of its several attributes. Its Tetragrammaton is IHVH (יהוה), the traditional name of God in Judaism. In 16th century Lurianic doctrine it becomes systemised as one of the 6 Primary Partzufim Divine Personae, as part of the cosmic process of Tikkun Rectification. See: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zeir_Anpin
“Image;” the garment of the soul which serves as a link between the material body and
subtler bodies. It is etheric in nature, partially physical and the purest energy. In the
microcosm, it is the Kether of Assiah, the Tiphareth of Yetzirah, and the Malkuth of
Briah (refer to the interleaving view of the four worlds found in Adam and the
Kabbalistic Tree, by Halevi, in order to make sense of this). This indicates how the three
lower Worlds meet in those living in the flesh, and how it is possible to experience the
unseen Worlds at moments when we perceive a deeper reality behind the face of the
A term from Lurianic Kabbalah meaning the contraction of the Ain Sof to form a “space”
into which all of creation would manifest. God still fills this space, like the fragrance of a
rose lingers after it leaves the room. This is the first appearance of the “separation”
between God and the Universe necessary for manifestation. In order for anything to
become distinct and visible, something else must become invisible. A foreground is not
visible unless there is a background. This is the first appearance of the Abyss and also of
Knowledge (Daath). By the very act of separation God imposes ignorance or latency on
Himself in order to create. This ignorance is simultaneously the birth of Knowledge.
The Book of Splendor, which first appeared in the late thirteenth century Spain. It is the
“bible” of the Kabbalah and its most influential work. Ascribed to Simeon bar Yochai of
the second century by traditionalists, scholars today attribute it to Moses de Leon, who is
said to have composed most of it in the 1280s and 90s
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